I wake up early, the iPhone alarm softly singing to me, easing me into the day.
It takes me a full minute to remember what day of the week it is. The cobwebs lay thick and heavy in my brain.
I am not a morning person. Never have been. I’d be happy if no one would talk to me for at least an hour actually, as my previous roommates and husband of nearly 22 years will tell you.
I let the dogs out, wake up the kids, make myself an espresso, (always a double) then sit down at the kitchen table and think through my day.
Then I begin making a to-do list in my favorite polka dotted notebook from my trip home this summer.
My brain starts waking up, untangling itself and then spirals out of control. Like a rabbit hole, I start with one thought that leads to a hundred more.
Is this normal? Is it me, getting old? Losing my ability to focus? Or is it just life?
I’m not shocked anymore at the events that happen around me. I’ve learned to drive more aggressively, to hold my own in the grocery line or at the airport.
I love listening to my Italian neighbors chatter in the alley as I wash dishes at the sink.
I zip into and around the hundreds of round-a-bouts without thinking twice, breaking a sweat or getting dizzy.
I still laugh out loud, but am used to having zero personal space at the grocery store, on the sidewalk, in a café.
I’m even used to seeing grown Italian men peeing by the side of the road almost every single day.
But after living here almost a year and a half, I’m still surprised at the amount of thought every single daily chore takes. I wonder how the Italians do it?
Do their brains hurt at the end of the day from all the extra brain power that must be used to get through the day? Probably not, they are used to how things run (or don’t run) here. It’s part of their DNA, I’m pretty sure.
My DNA is so different. I’m American through and through, but I long to be Italian. I have a love affair with Italy and will never be the same after living here. But my head still swims in the details of living life in bella Italia!
My thoughts go something like this…